Testimony > Depression

You have to accept to love life, not to try to understand it

Victor suffered from serious depression before finding the secret to balance and inner peace within himself: he found that happiness isn’t a matter of great acts of heroism but of filling every moment with love.

depressionI had an outwardly peaceful childhood in the Berry region of France. I was my mother’s only son, so rather than lacking affection, I was stifled by it. I was too sensitive and thirsted for a kind of absolute truth. My excessive idealism was more and more at odds with the reality of life. When I finished my studies, I fell into a serious depression, which therapy and medication cured for a while. I got myself a good job, but there was always a flaw in this superficial social success. There was still this unbearable gap between the ideal and reality, and when I was 30 I went into depression again. This time, I got hooked on tranquillizers. I took them all the time. I was so scared of running out that I kept them everywhere: coat pockets, car, overcoats, desk drawers, you name it... I got totally addicted.

My idealism altered…

I saw a doctor who took time to listen and helped me lower the tranquilizer doses. But there was still a deep unhappiness in me which has dissolved over the years since I joined IVI in February 1984. I found the meaning of life I had been searching for so hard in the words of Yvonne Trubert, IVI’s founder. Her message lit up the dark zones in the depths of my being. I felt the presence of God, the continuity of human and Divine love which expresses itself every instant through the little things of daily life. This fulfilled my need for an ideal and this personal reconstruction helped me get my health back. I was able to break out of idealism whilst retaining the basic ideal. If idealism doesn’t accept society and daily life, then it’s based on the wrong ideal. Contempt for life cannot give rise to contentment. God works discretely, in silence, in big and little things alike. I found unity and cogency with my inner world and occasionally an indescribably deep peace.

Changing my way of thinking has improved my health

I got married in 1989. Although my mother had discouraged my relationships with women, my hostility to them vanished. My prayer group helped a lot here: I’m the only man in it! As time went by, friendships developed in this group that had been really difficult at the beginning. God offers us His love in the depths of what we have most trouble understanding and in what we are least good at.

In the end, I learned to accept my sensitivity and vulnerability. It’s a character trait like brown eyes or green eyes… Thanks to the workings of prayer around me, my life is a whole lot more balanced now, with more inner harmony, but I still have to work on it. IVI is not blanket insurance and it’s not a comfortable ride either. It makes really tough demands. Changing my way of thinking has improved my health a lot. There have been periods of intense inner change and also longer, more difficult periods, mostly in the first three years, and some setbacks too. You change for good, then you start to understand and get to the root of the problem; you have to take up the pilgrim’s staff and walk straight ahead, out of the land of introspection... That’s when you begin to understand what Christ meant when He said: “Leave everything and follow me”.